Russian Army to hold first joint exercise with Pakistan

Moscow, Jan 23 (IANS) The Russian Army’s Commander-in-Chief Oleg Salyukov has announced that Russian ground forces will hold the first ever military exercises with Pakistan in the coming year, according to TASS news agency on Saturday.

The Russian Army is scheduled to hold seven international drills in 2016, including “the first ever Russian-Pakistani special drills in mountainous terrain.”

“As part of interaction with our foreign colleagues in 2016, we have scheduled seven joint exercises with the involvement of the relevant units of foreign states,” Salyukov said on Friday.

The Russian Army will also hold joint anti-terror command and staff exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, as well as a Russian-Vietnamese exercise, Salyukov added.

“The Peace Mission-2016, the joint drills of peace-keeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation code-named Indestructible Brotherhood, the Frontier-2016 joint command and staff drills, the Indra-2016 Russian-Indian exercises and the Selenga-2016 Russian-Mongolian drills will be held,” the commander added.

Russia had lifted its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan in June 2014 and signed a bilateral defence cooperation agreement with Pakistan to strengthen military-to-military relations in November 2014.

In August 2015, the two countries signed a landmark defence deal which includes the sale of four Mi-35 “Hind E” attack helicopters to Pakistan.

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